What Is Vellus Hair and When Does It Turn Into Terminal Beard?

What Is Vellus Hair and When Does It Turn Into Terminal Beard?

If you’re spending a lot of time staring at the mirror, wondering when your facial hair will start growing, you’re not alone. Most teenage boys wonder about it and that’s understandable as facial hair heralds the growth of the boy into a man and prepubescent facial hair is often looked down upon.

Often called “peach fuzz”, the prepubescent hair on teenagers’ faces is nothing shameful, however – it’s perfectly normal. But what is peach fuzz? Otherwise known as vellus hair, this type of hair can be found all over the bodies of both boys and girls, as well as men and women.

What is vellus hair?

Vellus hair is the short and incredibly thin soft hair that grows all across our bodies from our birth to our death beds. The only places on our bodies you won’t find vellus hair are the soles of our feet and the palms of our hands. There, and everywhere else that actual “terminal hair” grows.

The purpose of vellus hair is similar to that of terminal hair – to help sweat evaporate and to help regulate our bodies’ temperature. The difference between vellus and terminal hair is that the latter is better at regulating temperature and the former is better at allowing sweat to evaporate. Vellus hair regrowth is also faster than that of terminal hair as its shorter and thinner.

In that sense, vellus hair replacing most of the humans’ terminal hair is one of the main evolutionary leaps our species has taken over the ages as the ability to sweat has made us competitive on the ground against other land predators.

All that being the case, when most people think of vellus hair they are usually interested in when the vellus hair to terminal hair transition is going to happen. When the peach fuzz mustache will turn into an actual mustache and when does peach fuzz turn into a beard.

Vellus hair to terminal hair beard

Puberty is the time for most teenage boys to start replacing portions of their facial vellus hair with a terminal beard instead. Not all vellus hair is replaced – the areas on our upper cheeks, nose, foreheads, and temples usually remain covered exclusively with vellus hair.

Most men’s’ jaws do switch from vellus to terminal hair, however, and that happens during puberty when men’s bodies start pumping more androgens – the male hormones testosterone & DHT. In addition to facial hair, vellus hair turns into terminal hair on most men’s chests, legs, arms, abdomen, feet, and pubic areas.

How long for vellus hair to become terminal beard and what can you do to speed up the process?

When the transition happens and how long it takes depends mostly on the hormonal balance of each individual. We’ve covered the reasons why some men’s beards grow slower or not at all here but here’s a quick list of things you might want to do to speed up the growth of terminal facial hair:

  • Take vitamin D3 as it plays a vital role in the production of testosterone.
  • L-carnitine & L-tartrate help sensitizes our androgen receptors which are crucial as desensitized receptors can be the reason for delayed terminal hair growth even if the body produces enough androgens.
  • Fix your diet. Nutrition is vital when it comes to all our bodily functions and hair growth is no exception.
  • Hydrate. You may feel like you’re drinking enough water but proper hydration is as important as proper nutrition.
  • Exercise. The more you exercise your bodies the more you will accelerate its functions and metabolism, including hormonal production and utilization.
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